International Cheese Council of Canada

Confirmation of CPTPP Provisions to Benefit Canadian Businesses and Consumers


OTTAWA, ON, September 6, 2023 – Today, the International Cheese Council of Canada (ICCC) welcomed the findings of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) dispute panel on Canada’s administration of its dairy tariff rate quotas (TRQs).  The dispute panel found elements of Canada’s TRQ administration to be inconsistent with provisions of the CPTPP and has recommended that Canada amend its TRQ allocation measures to come into compliance with the agreement.

“The ICCC commends the panel for its thorough and speedy work. Once the Government of Canada enacts the appropriate steps to come into compliance, the amended TRQ allocation measures will finally allow Canadian consumers to fully benefit from the market access granted to foreign cheese producers under the CPTPP” said Joe Dal Ferro, the ICCC’s Chair. “ICCC members – small and medium-sized Canadian enterprises – have been providing Canadians’ favourite cheeses at affordable prices for many years – and are excited to continue to be able to do so.”

The panel’s findings do not grant additional market access for dairy to New Zealand, and current or future CPTPP parties – they merely confirm the application of existing provisions of the agreement. Under CPTPP, which came into force on December 30, 2018, Canada agreed to provide additional market access for supply-managed goods to CPTPP parties with the creation of three new cheese TRQs.  In practice, however, Canada’s TRQ administration and allocation practices have limited the realization of this granted market access.

“The ICCC looks forward to improved TRQ policies that will ultimately reduce costs for Canadian consumers, and increase choice on grocery store shelves,” added Joe Dal Ferro. “The association encourages both governments to come together towards a speedy outcome which ensures quota is allocated to those most likely to use it – to the benefit of Canadian consumers and SMEs.”

The International Cheese Council of Canada (ICCC) is committed to working with Canadian and New Zealand government officials on amended TRQ allocation measures which will live up to Canada’s treaty obligations and benefit Canadian consumers.


 The International Cheese Council of Canada:

 Based in Ottawa (Canada), the ICCC is an association of small- and medium-sized cheese importers and their suppliers. Founded in 1976, we are the only association in Canada exclusively dedicated to the importation of cheese into Canada. Our members are Canadian importers of cheese; our associate members are cheese producers and processors from various countries that have signed international trade treaties with Canada. The ICCC works to ensure that Canada’s cheese TRQs are put in the hands of those most likely to use it. Such an outcome increases quota fill rates – to everyone’s benefit. The ICCC has co-existed with Canada’s supply-managed dairy sector for over 45 years and recognizes the rationale underlying the supply management system – we are not advocating for the dismantling of the supply management.

Media Contact:

Marie Lemieux

Senior Advisor and Client Director, International Cheese Council of Canada